The South Korean K200 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) is an armoured vehicle which was developed for the Republic of Korea Army to combat the threats of the future. The project initially started when the ROK’s Army called for the vehicle in 1981. The ADD or Agency for Defense Development were in-charge of the project and the defense contractors were DaeWoo Heavy Industries which are now part of the Doosen Group. The vehicle looks similar to the American M113 which the South Koreans have in their possession of around 400. Thus the vehicle was based on the M113 though the design is largely different in terms of length, size and weight as well armour. There are several variants of this vehicle currently being utilized by the South Koreans and Malaysians. The vehicle (IFV variant) entered service in 1985.
Variants and their armaments
The K200 or KIFV (Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle) has many variants from its initial design, of around 9 variants/upgrades have been built for this vehicle since its inception.
K200 IFV / K200A1 IFV
Primary: 1 x 12.7mm / .50 cal Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)
Secondary: 1 x 7.62 Light Machine Gun (LMG)
Other: 6 x 40 mm grenade/smoke launchers
The K200A1 is an upgrade of the K200 which features a much more powerful engine. An automatic fire extinguishing system was added. While also having nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection.
K216A1 NBC RV
The K216A1 is an nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle. A requirement of 300 of these vehicle variants were placed by the ROK. The vehicle features high-tech sensory equipment to detect NBC-type attacks. The vehicle itself can hold 5 people, being the driver and commander plus an additional 3 people. – All of them with shared duties operate the vehicle. There is also a sampling device in this vehicle where it can sample soil, by lowering a collector to the collect the soil then vehicles sampling machine can sample the soil. THe K216A1 also carries the KM43A1 chemical alarm system and the VDR-2 radiation detector. The vehicle is protected via an over pressurising system to combat NBC conditions.
K263A1 Self-Propelled Vulcan
Primary: 1 x 20-mm six-barrel rotary cannon (Vulcan)
Guided by RADAR, effective against air targets (Low) and ground targets.
K30 Self-propelled AAA (BIHO System)- The vehicle unlike the Vulcan armed K263A1 is a variant which was developed on the sole basis of being a dedicated anti-aircraft artillery armoured vehicle. It features a larger engine capacity, larger armaments and is equipped to handle low flying targets.
Primary: 2 x dual 30 mm cannons.
The dual cannons are capable of firing at fasts rates of fire at 540 – 650 shots per minuate at a target, with an accuracy and target range of 3,000 meters.
K288A1, Repair/Recovery Vehicle – This variant of vehicle offers repairs and notably is a recovery vehicle. It carries a crane that can tow vehicles into safety. This variant has a crew of 3.
AAV (Armoured Ambulance Vehicle) is a variant of the K200 series of IFV which was produced as an ambulance to evacuate injured soldiers on the battlefield. It is prepared with two automatic oxygen resuscitators, two splinter sets and four litter sets.
K221A1 (SGV) Smoke Generation Vehicle is a vehicle which has the ability to create cover on the battlefields by producing a smokescreen. The smoke produced covers against visual and infrared sighting equipement.
K277A1 (CPV) Command Post Vehicle is a vehicle that was produced for field comamnders to control the battlefield from the mobility provided by the K200 series IFV. It features communications and inter-network capabilities to control the battlefield.
K242A1 / K281A1 (MC) Mortar Carrier
Primary: 81 mm or 107 mm mortar for fire support.
The vehicle acts as a mobile mortar carrier.
The infantry fighting vehicle (K200 IFV) carries a D2848T engine which gives the vehicle 350 horse power (HP) at 2,300 RPM. The vehicle also uses the ‘Allison Transmission X200-5k system’. The vehicle has a operational range of 480 km and has a suspension system based on the torsion bar. The vehicle is also ampibious, though not intended for deep water situations, and can travel 6 k/m an hour through water. On land the vehicle can reach a top speed of 70 k/m an hour. The vehicle can fit and carry 9 infantry troops along with the 3 crew, commander, driver and gunner.